It’s the holiday season – time to think of others first and give back in whatever ways you can. So it’s an appropriate time for Hellgate (Missoula, Mont.) senior runner Adam Peterman to embark on his senior project.
Peterman is raising awareness plus $5,000 for Outdoor Nation, a nonprofit organization that helps develop young outdoor leaders, by biking and hiking from the lowest point in the U.S., Death Valley, Calif., to the highest summit in the Continental U.S. (14,505 feet), Mount Whitney. That’s roughly 155 miles – 135 miles biking and 20 hiking up Mount Whitney – if you’re counting.
Peterman, who will run for the University of Colorado, hit the road last week.
He checked back with USA TODAY High School Sports along the way. Follow along all week to see how Peterman progressed.
Blog Entry No. 1 -- Who I Am and What I'm Doing
Blog Entry No. 2
The past few hours have been awesome. I’m currently stuffed in the back of a car with two good friends, Cody Meixner and Mike Foote. Mike is my cross country coach and mentor for this project.
It’s crazy to think that just yesterday I was sitting in class in snowy Montana and now I’m traveling through the stark desert basin after Sin City. We’re barreling down I-15 en route to Death Valley — only 107 miles to go, and I can’t wait to get there.
Cody is generously donating five days of his winter break to be our one-man support crew. Without both of these awesome dudes, my project would not be possible!
Tomorrow we’re going to begin our adventure, a 135-mile bike ride starting from the lowest point to the highest within the contiguous U.S.
This journey actually began yesterday afternoon, when I walked out the doors of Hellgate High School in Missoula, Mont.
Greeting me were Mike, Cody and a Subaru Outback stuffed to max capacity with four bikes on the back (two mountain, two road), a lot of road food and a heap of mountaineering gear.
After shoving my backpack in, we drove for three hours before we took a break to eat Subway in Dillon, Mont. Mike drove the whole way, while Cody and I played Mario on my blue Gameboy, which I’ve had since fourth grade. It was really entertaining…until the batteries tragically died.
After Dillon, we made the long haul to Salt Lake City, through Idaho and into Utah. It was pretty uneventful so we passed the time by listening to a book on tape by Dave Barry about becoming a man. We pulled into Salt Lake and stayed in a funky cabana behind a friend’s house.
This morning, we got an early start to the final push toward Death Valley. The roads had been clear all the way from Missoula to Salt Lake. Interestingly, the roads were slickest just south of Salt Lake in Cedar City.
After about an hour of snowy roads, we lost a few thousand feet of elevation. The skies cleared, and the rocks became the classic rusty red of Zion.
After a short rest tonight, the expedition begins!